Modified from my previous annual January blogs about the importance of leaders reading
Each January I pose the question: What book are you reading now? Charlie Rose in his nightly program of interviews often poses a similar question to his famous guests, most of whom are national or international leaders in their professions. They always seem to have a book they are reading about which they have opinions, insights, and comments.
Lifelong learning is essential to grow as a leader. A habit of reading books is important to that growth. What role do books play in your life? In your learning? My guess is that for many, we just don’t have enough time. Is reading books a habit for you? If not, is reading books something you would want to be a habit?
My favorite books read in 2014? First I reread The Martian by Andy Weir. It is just was a fun read from beginning to end. Highly recommend, even if you have seen the movie. I also revisited several business classics including Business Adventures by John Brooks, Good to Great by Jim Collins and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. I also enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and David and Goliath.
In my opinion the most important book for business leaders published in 2015 was Shawn Murphy’s The Optimistic Workplace. It is an important work. In my opinion it deserved a place on more lists of the best business books of 2015.
Another major work is David Burkus’s Under New Management to be released in March 2016. I purchased an advance copy and predict Under New Management will be a best-seller. Burkus’s book will generate much discussion.
I will admit to rereading my own book, Decoding the Workplace, which was released in 2015. I really think it could help many people, especially people new to the workplace. I was very honored that it was endorsed by Gregg Popovich, President and Coach of the San Antonio Spurs. I have enjoyed seeing online that it has been acquired by libraries around the world.
As we begin 2015, here are books on my reading list:
- The Road to Character by David Brooks
- The Why of Work by Dave and Wendy Ulrich
- Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
- On the Edge by Alison Levine
- The Happiness Track by Emma Seppälä
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them”, Mark Twain.
Or as the comedian Groucho Marx said, “Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
What are you reading?
Image: “Books on a Desk” © J. Ballard, 2016. All rights reserved.
© John Ballard, PhD, 2015. All rights reserved.
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